Interview with Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god of the Aztecs

The pyramid of Kulkulcan

Chichen Itza's pyramid
Chichen Itza's pyramid | Source

Interview with an Aztec God:

Quetzalcóatl is the Aztec name for The Feathered Serpent God. Known as Kulkulcan in Maya territory, this god is a beloved hero to the people. He can travel through the underworld, surmounting the forces of evil and darkness and be reborn as Venus, the morning/evening star.

The point in time of this interview takes place in the year 2012, the year that Quetzalcóatl finds himself quite busy trying to figure out how to reconcile the old calendar with the new modern Gregorian calendar that is currently used throughout the new lands of North, Central and South America. Some Central American countries are still having a hard time trying to keep up with modern times.

Quetzalcoatl or Kulkulcan Painting by L.A. Cargill

Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl | Source

The beginning...

Me: First, let me just state that I am in awe of actually being in the presence of a God. I really don't know how to act. But for the sake of my audience, I hope you feel comfortable being interviewed. I do hope you will forgo the sacrificing of a virgin or the cutting out of a still beating heart. We just can't find virgins anymore and no one wants to volunteer to have their heart cut out.

Please tell us about yourself, Quetzalcóatl, and is there a short version of your name perhaps?

Quetzal: Sure! You can call me Q, or F.S. for feathered serpent, or Quetzal for short. Thank you for offering a sacrifice, I am more or less satiated right now from all the drug cartel activity taking place in Mexico and Central America. So really, I couldn't drink another drop right now.

I made my first appearance on Earth during the first century B.C or A.D. take your pick. It's not commonly known, but I and Athena of Greek mythology are quite similar and we've both been around since the beginning of time. The Greek gods liked the European comfort zone, while we Aztec gods preferred the jungles.

Me: Would it be safe to say that you have been around since the garden of Eden? Could you have been the serpent who tempted Eve?

Quetzal: Well, all things are possible with the gods, but I don't remember that particular lady. There was a cute little goddess that I tried to tempt many eons ago, but that's another story.

Me: So you are more of a lover than a fighter?

Quetzal: I am the patron Mesoamerican god of science, education, religion, philosophy, wind and fire.

Quetzalcoatl - the smartest of the Aztec Gods?

Me: Whew! You sound like a very busy god. How did the people first get to know you?

Quetzal: Some say I'm not actually a god at all. That I was a real man that attained the status of a god. Some say that I was the Toltec ruler named Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl. He was one of the leaders of the great Toltec tribe that people know very little about now. The Aztecs sort of adopted all of the Toltec and Mayan legends and stories and convinced everyone that they were the advanced embodiment of the old Gods.

The Asians saw me as a dragon and associated me with the sky as did the Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs and Maya. That is why I have feathers, so I can fly as easily as slither. I'm also closely identified with the planet Venus because I have been known to disappear and reappear at will.

I traveled a great deal throughout Mesoamerica and many cultures adopted me as a favored god because I never demanded all those gruesome sacrifices. I was more of a benevolent kind of guy. My idea of life was to have a nice farm, a comfortable couch and an adoring wife.

Me: You mean you were a couch potato god?

Quetzal: Yep, laid back, colorful and willing to be adored.

Major Aztec Gods

  • Quetzalcóatl - Feathered Serpent
  • Tezcatlipoca - Lord of the Smoking Mirror
  • Tepeyollotli - Lord of Animals
  • Huehuecóyotl - Old Coyote (Kokopelli)
  • Tláloc - God of Rain and Lightning
  • Mayahuel - Goddess of the Maguey plant
  • Tlazolteotl - Goddess of Confessions
  • Xipe-Toltec - Lord of Renewal
  • Xolotl - Night time twin of Quetzalcoatl
  • Tonatiuh - the Sun God
  • Xochiquetzal - Goddess of Love

Hernan Cortes with feathers.
Hernan Cortes with feathers. | Source

The plot thickens.

Me: So what exactly happened to you during your travels and time here on Earth?

Quetzal: I left the One World (Tenochtitlan) because another Aztec god played a trick on me or perhaps I was drunk and bet the farm on what I thought was a winning hand. At any rate, I was forced by the followers of Tezcatlipoca (The Lord of the Smoking Mirror) to leave the area and never return.

Of course, I swore at the time that I would return just like Arnold Schwarzenegger - "I'll be back", and I predicted the date of my return in the year One Reed. Unfortunately, Hernán Cortes beat me back by a hair and everyone got confused. Cortes ended up owning everything and I was kicked aside.

Seriously, Does he even look like a God to you? He was all hairy and smelly and covered in metal. To this day I do not know how they mistook that beast of a Spanish conquistador for a beautifully plumed feathered serpent such as myself!

One last question.

Me: Will you be around for the Mayan Apocalypse?

Quetzal: I most certainly will be there! When this current Long Count calendar ends and the New Age of Enlightenment begins on December 21, 2012, I will celebrate with the Mayans at the temple they built for me. It's in the Yucatan peninsula at this great place. Perhaps you've heard of it? It's called the pyramid of Kulkucan (my Mayan name) at Chichen Itza. What a party it will be too. Maybe the Mayans will bring back the great and colorful gods again and we can all have some fun.

Chichen Itza

show route and directions
A markerChichen Itza -
Chichen-itza, Yucatán, Mexico
[get directions]

This is where the big pyramid to Kulkucan is. Every year at the solstices and equinoxes, the pyramid puts on a special show.

B markerMerida Yucatan -
Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico
[get directions]

Merida has a commercial airport near Chichen Itza.

C markerCancun mexico -
Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico
[get directions]

Probably the easiest airport to get to nearest Chichen Itza.

The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico

Have you visited any of the Mayan or Aztec ruins of Mexico?

  • Yes, and I love it!
  • No, but I want to.
  • Other - See comments
See results without voting

Quetzalcoatl the Aztec God

The Myth of Quetzalcoatl: Religion, Rulership, and History in the Nahua World
The Myth of Quetzalcoatl: Religion, Rulership, and History in the Nahua World

The Myth of Quetzalcoatl is a translation of Alfredo López Austin’s 1973 book Hombre-Dios: Religión y politica en el mundo náhuatl. Despite its pervasive and lasting influence on the study of Mesoamerican history, religion in general, and the Quetzalcoatl myth in particular, this work has not been available in English until now.

 

© 2012 Austinstar

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Comments 24 comments

christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 4 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Interesting and enjoyable. Thank you. I am betting on no change on Dec 21st 2012. But we will have to wait and see.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Hi Good hub about a bloke whom I have written of extensively in the past.

Be funny if a huge meteor landed here next Decenber, wouldn't it! Bob


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 4 years ago from SE MA

Cute and well done.


gogogo 4 years ago

Very entertaining, enjoyed reading it


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Hi Christopher - Thanks for stopping by. Yep, 12/22/2012 will probably be just another day, but many people will have hangovers or egg on their faces or both.

Hi Bob - Yes, that would be hilarious. I mean just think of the odds of another species annihilating asteroid crashing into the same general area as the one that probably killed off the dinosaurs. So ironic.

Hi Pc - Thank you for the kind words. I found a better written hub in the 'Related Hubs' section after I published - see 2012 The Mayan Calendar for Dummies!

Hi gogogo - Thank you for reading and commenting. I'm glad the hub is actually entertaining and not doom and gloom, right?


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Super intersting and my kinda God! lol I like the couch potato kind!

Really fun read...went by too fast! That explains where they got Kulkulcan street from...the road to shopping in Mexico! lol


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

Liked getting to know ole Quetz through the interview Lela. Your the kind of interviewer that really makes em entertaining.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Weird, I'm not getting my comment notifications. Oh well, it's always something.

Quetzalcoatl is definitely my favorite of the Aztec Gods. He's regarded as being the smartest of them all. Plus he's very colorful!

Oh, and the trick to get him to leave the One World - the Smoking Mirror god framed him to make it look like he slept with his sister. LOL


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Lela - I'm happy you were able to interview Quetzie to learn so much about his background as a Mayan god. I would have put him on my list, too, to interview but decided spelling his name correctly would be just too much of a challenge.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

But that's the thing, drbj - it's a phonetic name. I could never spell it in Mayan glyphs for sure. Can you imagine what their keyboard would look like?


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California

Aha! Now I get the group. LOL. You had an inside contact.

Delightful humor and I learned something. You know, I thought as I was reading this that you could write lovely children's books with something like this. Something approachable and modern in the interview, but imparting a bit of real history, even dispelling some myths and putting some legends into a more global-centric perspective.

Good stuff, and entertaining.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

The Mayans were big on magic, Shades. You should join us. Bring the wife and party! I'm trying my best to get Bob to go. He's not a big fan of Mexico.

I do have to say that the Yucatan is not very 'Mexican'. It's more Mayan.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 4 years ago from California

I wish. The concept is awesome.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Well, we will all write hubs about it for sure. RealHousewife is going and it's her birthday! I'm going because I must. It's only 5,125 years until the same alignment comes around again!


Ricardo 3 years ago

This is the most disrespectful and stupid article I have ever read! Waste if time !


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Thanks for commenting. Perhaps you should sign up for HubPages and write a better hub about the feathered serpent!


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 3 years ago from SE MA

Or perhaps he should.. aww, never mind :-)

Disrespectful?? Wow!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico

Ricardo. If you find an article "stupid and disrespectful" kindly say so in more respectful terms yourself. And then take the time to explain why you find this article so.

I have written about Mexico with the best of intentions and some expertise myself, only to receive similar rude and asinine comments like yours. Perhaps you would be better served telling us about Mexico, if you have the ability; failing that, stay the heck away from our site..

Robert

Viva Mexico!

Robert


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Now look what you have done, Ricardo, you have wasted my time and the time of two other respected hubbers. Please try to be more respectful in the future.

Remember, if you can't say something good, then keep your mouth shut!


Emese Fromm profile image

Emese Fromm 11 months ago from The Desert

I can't believe I just saw this now, but it was a fun read! I just loved how you played with the facts and myths and made it an entertaining while still an educational piece. Great writing, as always.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Thanks Emese! Say, didn't you just come back from a trip somewhere fun? I'll go and check for new hubs. I wonder why I'm not getting notifications. I am following you.


Emese Fromm profile image

Emese Fromm 11 months ago from The Desert

I know. I'm not getting notifications from your site, either. This just popped up since I was looking for something about the Maya. I haven't been around Hubpages much, traveling than busy with kids and their school. We spent the summer traveling through Europe and Canada, then just had a short weekend trip to Northern AZ... still dreaming of moving to Mexico, we found a place in Koba we want to buy - when we are ready to retire.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe Author

Awesome! Can I be your neighbor? I want to find a place in Mexico too.


Emese Fromm profile image

Emese Fromm 11 months ago from The Desert

Sure! I have a feeling I'd love to have you as a neighbor. :)

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    Austinstar profile image

    Austinstar1,080 Followers
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    Lela earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Sam Houston University in Huntsville, TX. She has been writing for the online world for years.



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